West Rutland School monsters!
Jenny Gammon at West Rutland School sent me this photo of some of her fish. This one isn't even their biggest, which measures 6 cm. Nice work West Rutland. It won't surprise you to learn that Jenny and her TIC colleagues Jenna Abatiell and Zach Eastman used the "warm and fast" approach to temperature management, that is, right after getting their eggs in January, they quickly eased the temperature up to 52 degrees and kept it there. That fish has nice colors too!
We've had some beautiful weather for recent Release Days. Here are pictures from RDs across the state.
Bridge School release photos
Jen Grilly sent this regarding the Bridge School release.
A couple photos from Bridge School's release day! Thank you so much Paul and Doug for your help!
Poultney Elementary School
As they have in previous years, Keith Harrington's PES students joined students from other regional schools at the Eco Festival held at Green Mountain College campus. After indoor Eco activities in the morning, Keith and his students walked to the banks of the Poultney River on the edge of the campus, where they released their fish. US Forest Service employee Chris Alexopoulos also showed the students the results of the electrofishing he had done earlier in the day.
Keith was excited when it turned out that they had 63 fry because that was exactly the number of students in the three PES classes that participated in the TIC program this year. Having started with 100 eggs instead of the 200 they got last year, their survival rate was about double the rate of their previous two years. And the PES fish were significantly larger than the previous fish they raised. Keith thinks this may have been due to the fact they they kept the fry in the breeder baskets much longer this year, probably into the first week of April.
What do you think?
Crossett Brook Middle School
Meg Ritter, at CBMS, said this about their Release Day.
The release of our trout went very smoothly. The boys netted all 39 of our trout in less than 20 minutes. I've included some pictures.
CVS- OVUHS collaboration
Guy Merolle of Castleton Village School and Josh Hardt of Otter Valley Union High School got their students together for a wonderful collaboration this past Monday and Tuesday. Josh runs the Moosalamoo Center at OVUHS, which he founded 15 years ago. Click the link to check it out. Josh brought several of his students to Dewey Recreational Field in Castleton, close to the Castleton River, where they instructed CVS students on water quality issues and helped them collect and identify macroinvertebrates. The OVUHS students also added two cool enhancements to the normal TIC program. On Monday they taught CVS students fly casting and on Tuesday taught them fly tying.
I'm a huge fan of "kids teach kids" approaches like this. I think they brings enormous benefits to both the older and the younger students. I was extremely impressed by the maturity, knowledge, and competence of Josh's students. It's apparent that he's doing a terrific job at the Moosalamoo Center program.
I got to Dewey Field on Monday to take a few pictures but was at the Poultney RD Tuesday when the fly tying took place so didn't get any photos of that.
Dorset School RD
Parent volunteer Jim Mirenda sent these photos of the Dorset School's Release Day on the Mettawee River. Part of the program included a presentation by a game warden who had a prop that stole the show. He brought a dead doe! He also talked about how one becomes a game warden.
I love those TIC tee-shirts!
Middletown Springs Elementary School RD
Jenn Tifft's 5th and 6th graders at Middletown Springs Elementary School had fabulous weather for their RD yesterday. Hilary Solomon, of the Poultney-Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District, and her sidekick Sarah lead the students in water testing in the morning while I taught them about the physical characteristics of the stream environment (riparian zone, canopy coverage, substrate embeddedness, hydrodynamics, and the properties of ideal trout habitat). After lunch (Hawaiian wraps!), former VINS and 4Winds educator Elizabeth Cooper led macro collecting and identification activities. Then the students released their 36 fry. Here are just a few pictures of that gorgeous day.
Data, data, data! We need it.
Some of you have begun to send me your data but not enough. Here's a screen shot of the Crossett Brook Middle School data I got from Meg Ritter.
Every year the TIC regional coordinators meet to discuss how the year went, what we learned from our experiences, and what we should do differently next year. In anticipation of that meeting, I compile and distribute the data I received from schools. This resource is invaluable in that it allows us to identify patterns and relationships. It can also help us answer thorny questions like these:
In order for us to be able to answer these and other important questions, we need as much data as we can get. So PLEASE send me your data, specifically the "Template for TIC data entry" and the "Temp and DI record and swim-up calculator." (I've linked those files to the file names.) In addition, if your spreadsheets don't include these details, we also need:
Joe Mark is Lead Facilitator of Vermont's Trout in the Classroom program.
In June 2012, I retired after 40 years in higher education, having spent the last 32 years of my career as dean at Castleton. One of the first things I volunteered to do in retirement was to work with a parent-friend to help the Dorset School, where his kids and my Vermont grandkids attend, start a TIC program. Gradually that commitment grew into my current role, which is both demanding and highly rewarding.